Dangerous dogs and the law
Legislation exists under the Dogs Act 1871 and the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 to deal with offences where a dog is dangerously out of control or bites someone or puts someone in fear of being bitten.
The Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 is a dual responsibility act and in practice means the Police sort out the more serious cases such as dog attacks whilst we deal with the lower level problems such as out of control dogs.
If the dog owner or any other person in charge of the dog at the time is prosecuted and proved guilty of an offence, this can lead to conviction resulting in a fine of up to £5000 and/or a term of imprisonment up to two years. The court can also order that offenders be disqualified from keeping dogs and can order the destruction of the dog.
We also have control orders to deal with nuisance dogs by ordering them to be kept on a lead at all times in public.
Report a dangerous dog
To report a dog on person attack or an attack on an assistance dog, please contact the police directly.
To report any other aggressive or nuisance dog, please use our dangerous dog reporting form.
Records are kept of all incidents and these may be referred to when dealing with future incidents.
The Police also deal with other dog related offences such as prohibited breeds, dogs worrying livestock, control of guard dogs, dogs being used for illegal purposes such as hunting/poaching and dogs needing care following sudden death/arrested persons/road traffic accidents.